Earmark Zero: The Durham Museum Photo Archive Project
Our earmarks database has over 33,000 earmark requests in it, and a small crew of transparency heroes are working diligently to capture them all. The list of “wanted” members and senators is dwindling.
The next step will be tagging the thousands of earmarks that have made it into the appropriations bills now being considered in Congress. You can see those bills in our FY 2010 spending tracker. They designate federal spending for the new fiscal year that begins October 1st.
Here’s an interesting development: Three of the appropriations bills have no earmarks whatsoever, and one has just one!
The bills to fund the Department of State and foreign operations of the government, H.R. 3081 and S. 1434, haven’t got a single earmark. Neither does the House bill to fund the legislative branch, H.R. 2918.
The Senate bill that covers legislative branch spending, though, has one earmark. The bill is S. 1294.
Senator Ben Nelson (D) of Nebraska, the chairman of the subcommittee that produced that bill, has instructed that $200,000 should go to the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska for a photo archive project.
Now, ask yourself if you think this is a good use of federal money. Is a photo archive at the Durham Museum something you’d like a little bit of your money to go to? Or is that something local people and people with an interest in photography and history should pay for? It’s up to you. It’s your government, after all.
Here’s the current vote on the Durham Museum Photo Archive project. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article about the earmark.
There will be many more earmarks to assess in the near future. In the meantime, we need to get the remaining earmark requests into the database!